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Removal of GST on Purpose-Built Rental Addresses Long-Standing Barrier

OTTAWA – September 14, 2023 – The federal government’s move today to waive the GST on purpose-built rental addresses a long-standing issue that has prevented the construction of more rental housing for decades. The Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) has advocated for years about the need to reform taxation on purpose-built rental, and therefor is very pleased to see this measure coming into effect now. High interest rates have further eroded the viability of purpose-built rental projects this year, shelving much needed new housing supply. This elimination of GST should help get those projects back on track.

“CHBA is very pleased to see the removal of GST on purpose-built rental,” says CHBA CEO Kevin Lee. “This is something we have called for for a long time, and is a measure that will continue to be necessary for many years to come to ensure much more rental housing supply is built. Purpose-built rental is an important part of the housing continuum and a must to be among the 5.8 million homes that Canada needs to build over the next decade to make up the housing deficit.”

With the elimination of GST on purpose-built rental at the federal level, it will now be very important that provincial governments follow suit with their own taxes on purpose-built rental. Also very critical is the need for municipalities to reduce their development taxes on not only purpose-built rental, but all housing (including for homeownership). Municipal development taxes have gone up some 700 percent over the past two decades, with taxes comprising as much as 30 percent of the price of a home today. This needs to change.

With some financial relief to now enable more rental housing to be built, similar support is also needed for first-time home buyers, so that renters who want to can achieve their dreams of homeownership. A move to 30-year amortization periods for insured mortgages would go a long way to enabling those locked out of homeownership to fulfill this aspiration, which would then spur much needed production of new housing supply to improve housing affordability by better balancing supply and demand. Canada needs more housing of all forms and tenure, and to increase supply, Canadians need the ability to finance the purchase of their first home.


Journalists wishing to interview Kevin Lee, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association are encouraged to submit their request by email to

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) is the voice of the residential construction industry in Canada, representing some 8,500 member firms across the country. Our membership spans new home builders, renovators, developers, trade contractors, building material manufacturers and suppliers, lenders, and other professionals in the housing sector.